Haven Valley Farm LLC
Pine Island, MN
Produce Season 2021
Grown by Nature
Welcome to HAVEN VALLEY FARM
Inaugural year: 2020
Thank you for viewing our website.
Our 2021 Season is Underway
We expect to begin selling produce in early August.
Weekly deliveries to Rochester at a central pick up site.
2020 was Haven Valley's first growing season. We are committed to growing high quality, great tasting produce in a sustainable manner.
This is our second year and we are excited about the earlier start and progress have made. See Farm Page for more information.
What we are growing this year:
Items with * are available now.
"Life depends on rain and six inches of topsoil."
Life @Haven Valley
I said I would keep this post real and it is but that involves the successes and the struggles of a beginning small farmer.
To all of Haven Valley's Customers and supporters. We would not have made it without you this year. Whether it was purchasing our products or helping out at the farm or both. You are the reason for the farm. Naturally grown and chemical free produce.
July 16, 2021
Construction related activities has taken up a lot of my time. The high temps and dry weather affected our direct seeded crops very badly. But our beets survived and are doing well. We did not have our well yet for most of that time either. So this year we are focusing on our transplant crops. Weed management lessons have been ongoing. With limited labor available it is critical to find ways to suppress weed growth. That the velvet weed appears to be very attractive to Japanese beetles and so far they are leaving our vegetable plants alone. For that reason we are leaving the velvet weeds where we can do so.
We have been picking zucchinis, pumpkins are on the vine and we are looking forward to melons and squashes. Our sweet corn and strawberry popcorn seems to be doing well. The peppers and tomatoes have had a much harder time.
As soon as we have produce for sale we will post what is available.
May 23, 2021
I took a break from the website and blog for longer than I realized to focus on getting the barn and house moving as well as a little R&R in Florida.
So far one thing that has been cemented in my head, is that developing a small farm consists of planning and replanning. I suppose that is nothing new for a lot of businesses. What works for one person might not work for another. There are so many variables such as micro climates on and within each farm that dictate what grows well and what not so much. What is popular in a given community and what is not as I learned last year with yellow crookneck squash and beets. Beets were hugely popular and people kept asking me if you don't bake the yellow squash how do you cook it. I realized the southern trio of sautéed, grilled or roasted yellow summer squash, zucchini and onion was not northern thing.
We are making progress with the barn, well, electric power and housing. I have not given up on my idea of a wind generator for the farm. I am told our land is a good place for one.
For those of us who like doing this, and who would if they did not like it a lot, there is a constant tug between the profitable and the, wouldn't this be fun to try and the personal favorites to grow. I planted a few of the latter last year. I found while I had amazing green beans as confirmed by purchasers, they were huge money losers. Those heirloom beans with their stiff stems required hand snipping a few at a time to avoid breaking the bean in half and/or damaging the plant. I did a quick calc last summer and found to break even, I'd need $16 per lb. to recover all the cost and thats without a return to the farm. Since no matter how good my green beans were, I am convinced the market will not bear $20/lb. green beans. So this year we are going to try a u pick for certain items.
The farmers markets were great and we enjoyed participating in them. We are going to try making deliveries once a week to Rochester this year. More information about that to follow.
Lastly, on costs. As we know, everything seems to be going up. Equipment, lumber, electrical, fuel, fertilizer, you name it, it seems to be climbing in price. Even very well used equipment is bringing stunningly high prices. I am concerned about what that is going to do to this years vegetable prices. Please bear in mind, few if any of us small farmers are becoming wealthy market gardening alone. There are a few who have done exceptional well and most of us hope to learn from them. The truth is I believe most market gardeners do this because we love it and and believe in it. Fresh food, not processed. Locally grown, not trucked 1,000's of miles. Please continue to support your local growers so we can continue to grow your local food in the coming years.